The federal government boasted Thursday it has sent states nearly $4.5 billion in anti-drug block grants since 1987 and claimed victory in unplugging obstacles that have delayed the flow of money to states.
However, the U.S. Conference of Mayors was unimpressed with the report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy, contending the money is not making its way to local governments, which are bearing the violent brunt of the drug crisis.John Walters, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy presented the results of a eight-month examination of the federal government's three large anti-drug block grants to states. The grants are for law enforcement efforts, distributed by the Justice Department; treatment, distributed by the Department of Health and Human Services; and prevention, distributed by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services.
The report said the three grant programs have provided nearly $4.5 billion to state and local anti-drug efforts since 1987 and that the annual funding level has more than tripled since 1988 to $1.4 billion in 1991.
It also said federal block grants to local projects "has become significantly more efficient and timely" in recent years.
Twelve to 18 months could go by between the president's budget request to Congress and actual awards to states. And delays also are caused by state legal and fiscal requirements, the report said.
Patrick Murphy of the U.S. Conference of Mayors argued block grants "are not being allocated in the most effective, most efficient way" because the money is not trickling down to the cities.